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How To Work with High-Speed Projects
Hierarchical Structure for High-Speed Projects

A Hierarchical structure can make your high speed project much easier to navigate and complete. We’ll show you some tips and tricks for creating and maintaining a high speed. Hierarchical design project.

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Explaining the Impedance of the Crystal
Blog
Making the Most of Your Crystal Oscillator

In my experience, the somewhat vague information you might find in a typical crystal datasheet doesn’t enable an engineer to be wholly confident that their design expectations can be met. On the other hand, “blindly” adopting what the crystal datasheet says usually results in adequate frequency stability. If you want to get inside and uncover what is going on, you need to start thinking about the crystal as a phase-shifting network.

Webinar preview
On-Demand Webinar
Using Output Job Files for Rapid, Repeatable PCB Manufacturing Data Generation

An OutJob is simply a pre-configured set of outputs. Each output is configured with its own settings and its own output format, for example, output to a file or to a printer. OutJobs are very flexible – they can include as many or as few outputs as required and any number of OutJobs can be included in a project. The best approach is to use one OutJob to configure all outputs required for each specific type of output being generated from the project. 

Routed PCB
Blog
How Antipads Affect Signal Integrity in Your Multilayer PCB

Antipads on vias and landing pads are a point of contention in modern PCB design, and the debate around the use of these elements in a multilayer PCB is framed as a binary choice. Like thermal reliefs, ground plane splits, and orthogonal routing, the debate around antipads on landing pads and vias is framed as an always/never choice. With today’s modern PCBs, it pays to understand the effects of antipads on signal integrity.

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Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Rigid-Flex Board Shape Design in MCAD

The MCAD Codesigner allows you to design or edit your board shape in the MCAD environment and have it pushed back to Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to configure the board shape, rigid and flex regions, and mounting holes.

Embedded thumbnail for Variants in Multi-Channel Designs
How to work with Variants
Variants in Multi-Channel Designs

Multi-channel designs can utilize variations in the channels to reduce design time and sheet count. We’ll show you how to take advantage of this by configuring several types of components.

PCB with RF elements
Blog
How to Design a Microstrip to Waveguide Transition

RF structures can be complicated to design and layout, particularly because many RF systems lead double lives as digital systems. Getting an analog signal out of a component and into a waveguide for high isolation routing is not so simple as placing a microstrip or stripline coming off your source component. Instead, you need to create a special microstrip to waveguide transition structure to ensure strong coupling into and out of your waveguide.

Embedded thumbnail for Using HDI Stackups during BGA Design
How to Design a BGA
Using HDI Stackups during BGA Design

Micro Vias and Buried Vias play an important role in high density interconnection layer stackups (HDI Stackups). We’ll show you how to add via and create rules to allow you to take full advantage of the HDI Stackup.

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Blog
Managing PCB Polygon Pour and Copper Features in Complex Layouts

Layouts for complex electrical systems may need to make extensive use of copper pour to provide ground nets, power nets, shielding, and other copper structures for power and signal integrity. Backplanes, motherboards, RF products, and many other complex layouts will make use of copper pour and polygons that can’t be easily placed as custom components. The rules-driven design engine in Altium Designer® also ensures that any PCB polygon pour you place in your PCB layout will comply with clearance rules and will be checked against other electrical design rules.

Embedded thumbnail for What Are Design Variants For?
How to work with Variants
What Are Design Variants For?

Variants in Altium Designer allow you to create several variations of the same design all from one source project. Variants can be managed in the project and through Altium Designer you can control variants in the PCB, Schematic, Draftsman, and Outjob files to make your designs easily editable without redundancy.

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On-Demand Webinar
Best Practices: Efficient Use of Snapping in Altium Designer

Getting your PCB layout design done takes patience and precision. Complex footprint geometries, board shape, and dense component placement require accurate primitive positioning. Each stage of PCB design needs a different snapping configuration. Often your settings can be excellent for one stage and be unfavorable for another. Learn more about different snapping usage patterns and best practices of efficient snappings.

Backplane printed circuit boards
Blog
High Speed Backplane Design and PCB Layout Tips

If you need to connect multiple boards into a larger system and provide interconnections between them, you’ll likely use a backplane to arrange these boards. Backplanes are advanced boards that borrow some elements from high speed design, mechanical design, high voltage/high current design, and even RF design.  They carry their own set of standards that go beyond the reliability requirements in IPC.

Embedded thumbnail for Assuring Your Board Is Large Enough to House All Components
How-To's
Assuring Your Board Is Large Enough to House All Components

This video covers how to make sure your board is big enough to house all your components.

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How-To's
How to Create an Interactive PDF of a Schematic Diagram

This video shows how to create an interactive PDF using the Smart PDF Wizard.

M2 Sata PCB
Blog
PCIe 5.0 Signal Integrity and Analysis

The upcoming Gen6 version of PCIe is pushing the limits of signal integrity for many computer systems designers. As with any high-speed signaling standard, signal integrity is a major design consideration, which requires the right set of design and analysis techniques. Rather than digging deep to find PCIe 5.0 signal integrity requirements from PCI-SIG, we’ve compiled the important points for today’s PCB layout engineers. Layout engineers should pay attention here as these design requirements will become more stringent in later PCIe generations.

Embedded thumbnail for Checking for Creepage in High Voltage Designs
How-To's
Checking for Creepage in High Voltage Designs

High voltage devices have leakage currents that propage over the surface of the board. In such devices, it's important to consider not only the standard gap between the two topological elements, but also the shortest possible path between them, taking into account cut-outs and holes. With Altium Designer 20, you can check for creepage using the new creepage distance rule.

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How-To's
How to Remove Unused Pad Shapes

Unused pad shapes can cause distortion among other problems so it is best to exclude them from your designs. This video shows how to remove unused pad shapes.

Blog
Top 4 Time Wasters in PCB Design Collaboration

An essential aspect of project management is time management, especially when your design team is working remotely. Your time management strategy is team-based and individual, but time can easily get spent on important tasks when working as part of a team. So how can you streamline important collaboration tasks for your design team to increase productivity?

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Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
MCAD CoDesigner Overview

The MCAD CoDesigner in Altium Designer allows for seamless design transfer between the Electrical and Mechanical designers. In this overview, we’ll show you how to transfer from Altium Designer to your CAD tool of choice, then how to resize the board, add mounting holes, add a new connector, and update the board design in Altium Designer.

Embedded thumbnail for Display Variants in Draftsman Document
How to work with Variants
Display Variants in Draftsman Document

You can use the draftsman document to display your board variants. We’ll show you how to create a draftsman document and add variants to it properly displayed and editable through the properties panel.